cheese wedge

anonymous asked:

Hi there, I was wondering; in a fantasy setting, should "ranged fighters," AKA archers or mages (especially mages), wear any kind of armor? One of my friends (who is a little too glued to the idea of using gaming terms for his fight scenes) doesn't give his ranged fighters much protection because "they have tank who will aggro," despite me telling him that in IRL situations enemies won't always work like that, and ranged fighters are deadly and would easily become top priority during battle.

Which works right until the tank can’t maintain aggro, then the DPS scatter, because of course they do, and everyone wipes because, turns out, it’s nearly impossible to hit two idiots on opposite sides of the arena at the same time with the same AoE.

…or the tank never slotted a taunt, and the healer ends up running from and DPSing Bloodspawn, while the DPS stand in stupid trying to revive each other. No, I’m not thinking of a specific event, why do you ask?

Games are, by nature, an incredibly abstract approach to combat. Even inside of an MMO, the sharp difference between how PvE and PvP plays out should be a pretty solid indicator of how fragile the entire concept of aggro is.

An AI driven NPC needs to know who to attack. In most cases they’ll prioritize incoming damage, and target whatever’s dealing the most. The entire idea of a tank is to fake out that number, boost it further, or in some cases, completely override aggro generation, and take the brunt of the enemy’s attacks. Which is downright hilarious, when you step back and think about it. You’re talking about sending a party of adventurers up against an ancient demon who’s been sealed outside of the universe for millennia, but he will ignore the people actively trying to kill him, because that idiot who’s doing almost nothing to him said some mean things about his mother.

As I understand it, and I could be wrong here, Tanking is something that has come, almost exclusively, from metagaming. The idea that, “well, players are going to take damage, so let’s concentrate it on a single player to make the healer’s job easier,” doesn’t have a place in the real world. I’m not sure if the strategy dates back to tabletop, or came from the early MMOs like Ultima Online or Everquest. As I said, it doesn’t have any basis in reality.

The closest you can get is the role of infantry and skirmishers in mass combat. But, at that point, sticking infantry between your enemy and your archers wasn’t about protecting the archers, so much as, that the infantry were your primary combat force.

Step into PvP, and the value of a tank diminishes sharply. Most human players understand that, so long as the healer is up, nobody’s going anywhere, so they become public enemy number one.  Hell, most of the times, when you give players an AI controlled encounter with a healer, your priority is clear. No, it’s not the big tanky guy/girl/sentient iguana with death rays mounted on its armor.

That said, I’ve seen a lot of games try to make the tank more valuable in PvP. Reducing enemy mobility, debuffing them, applying selective buff manipulation that makes a taunted target deal far less damage to other targets. All of it is a band aid on a system, trying to make the role function in an environment where the tank’s foes are smart enough to say, “nah, he’s not a problem, I’m going to wax the healer first.” Though, bonus points awarded to the games that just go, “screw it, the tank is the healer.”

Mages wearing robes is a setting or character decision. If armor somehow impairs a mage’s ability to cast magic, then that’s something they’ll want to avoid. If a mage isn’t, primarily, a combatant, and dislikes, or can’t afford, armor, they may avoid it for those reasons. That said, if armor doesn’t interfere with your mage’s ability to cast magic, they understand how to use it, and can afford it, not wearing armor is just being stupid (even if it is that character’s preference).

The whole concept of tiering armor based on the combat role is another gameplay abstraction, without a lot of basis in history. Armor was expensive. To the point that most rulers couldn’t afford to outfit large standing forces in heavy armor.  You got the best armor you could afford. If you were supplied out of an armory, you wore what you were handed, which might just be a padded gambeson.

Thing is, I rather like armor tiering. At least from a gameplay perspective. It informs the player what the armor they’ve found is useful for, and is very useful for deciding if the gear you just found is going to be helpful for your playstyle. In MMOs it can help break up players, so that you have an easier time identifying their roles. But, it is an abstract, game system, with no relation to reality. Trying to take these things out, and evaluate them outside of their native environment can be tricky. This is how you end up with characters who can instantly cram three hundred cheese wedges down their gullet to fully recover from being set on fire and flung off a cliff into the sea, hundreds of feet below.

-Starke

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“Well, I KNOW I like cookies so I’ll get three of those. Not sure on the potato wedges… maybe just two. Penne is just okay so three pieces of that. I want five chips, and of course I’ll need a little cup of nacho cheese. Not too much, you see. And I guess a mouthful of macaroni wouldn’t hurt.”

-Excerpt from Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer

YOI - Barcelona

I know this has been done before, but I wanted to do it too. So here’s my pilgrimage to Barcelona. The trip was not without its hiccups, as you will see, but for the most part, I think I covered the hot spots: 

1. The hotel. By now, I think we all know which hotel they stayed at. Let’s start at the top. The pool had nice views at night, but was very cold.❄️☃️ I can only imagine what it was like in December. What were Viktor and Chris thinking???

Keep reading

Someone to Stay - AU

Previous chapters

Chapter 10

Your heart is worth it.

Claire’s heart sank and stuttered as she stared at the ceiling in the gloom. Her shades were pulled down, allowing only a minimum of light to seep through the edges. Her fists were clenched tightly at her side, legs tangled in the sheets. 

So this is what heartbreak felt like. Fault lines with jagged edges carved into her chest. Dry heaving sobs, her eyes burning and red. So much worse than before. That hadn’t been heartbreak. This… this felt like the loss of life itself.

Her hair—the lovely, wild curls he had claimed to adore—were damp and plastered to her face. Tears had dried over and over in shiny silver tracks, sliding down her cheeks, across her temples, or onto her pillow as she tried unsuccessfully to sleep.

Joe had taken her home after the initial shock, where she had just sat on the couch. Her right hand had scrunched up the newspaper until it was  blurred and the strangled crying had begun. Joe had made her tea which had sat sullen and cold on the table. And so had she. Wrapped in her robe, she hadn’t attended classes or work, Joe calling in sick for her.

He knew. The unimaginable bastard had known from the beginning – she had been betrayed once. And she, stupid and foolish and trusting, had fallen for another liar. Again.

Her mind was weary and exhausted from going round and round in circles; dissecting every word, every kiss, every touch. Wondering if she had imagined it all—the gentleness of his hands, calloused and warm on her body. The gleam in his sapphire eyes when he looked at her…

Tha gaol agam ort.

Claire also wondered if that feeling would ever go away—that of being punched in the stomach, of a vise pressing on her sternum relentlessly and wouldn’t let her breathe properly since yesterday. The rage that snagged and clawed at her insides. A hand that was slowly but surely squeezing the life and blood from her heart. 

When she had gotten home last evening, supported by Joe up the stairs and through the apartment door, her mobile had rung. Without even pausing to see who was calling, she had thrown the phone at the wall. The screen had cracked and the phone lay there lifeless. Blessedly silent. No doubt she had been receiving calls and texts from many people – including him. But what was there to say?

Giving up on sleep, she struggled to her feet and wrapped a duvet around her shoulders. Padding slowly through the apartment, she saw the newspaper still spread on her small kitchen table. Like poking a bruise to see if it still hurt, Claire had practically memorized the image that accompanied the offending article. 

His red hair was perfectly rumpled, and he was wearing that damnable leather jacket. She was a petite blonde bombshell, stylish and indefinably French. They had been photographed walking down the street, sunglasses obscuring their eyes, holding hands. Lead singer of The Clan and the famous Parisian songstress were spotted canoodling in a popular Edinburgh restaurant, it said. The two had previously dated in 2012 and seem to have rekindled their romance. Whatever happened to Claire Beauchamp – was there trouble in paradise?

Disgusting.

Eyeing the newspaper askance (but why don’t you throw it out then?) she gave the table a wide berth and opened the fridge. There was not much inside however, except some expired milk, wrinkled apples, and a wedge of cheese. Her stomach gurgled in protest; she decided to test if it would keep down some toast.

And then the intercom buzzer rang.

Claire dropped the blanket, hands shaking. It had to be Joe. He had understood her need for space and privacy to grieve, and knew her mobile was not available. She glanced at the phone—still on the floor, useless. The buzzer rang again.

She pressed the button and through the static crackle heard his voice. “Claire, please, I—”

She took the finger off the button and backed into stove. It couldn’t be. He was cavorting in Edinburgh with Annalise-what’s-her-face. Her heart slammed away in the vicinity of her throat, fear and anxiety and fury swelling inside. Shit, what if he got in? He had an emergency key, as she had one to his London flat. Would he use it? 

Of course not, he respects you, doesn’t he? a voice in her head piped up. No, he doesn’t; he cheated on me verra publicly with a French trollop, so shut up, Claire retorted. 

This inner monologue was interrupted by the strident intercom once more. Claire wouldn’t let him in. She couldn’t. But like the time she heard the song for the girl with the whiskey eyes, again her heart of its own volition propelled her forward and she pressed the button– but said nothing.

“Claire, I ken ye can hear me. I ken ye can.” His voice tore her quietly to pieces. “I want 5 minutes and then—”

“Do you need to get in, dearie?” Old Mrs. Fitz from the second story was apparently on her way out. 

“Sassenach, I’m coming up. Thank ye, ma’am.” Shit, shit—she had let him in. Fuck! 

Her fist pounded the wall next to the intercom and she ran frantically toward the door. She could hear the thump of booted feet on the old stairwell, and she braced her hands against the door. Childish, but her feeling of righteous anger was stronger than logic at the moment. The bolt was locked, the chain in place.

“Claire.” 

Muffled by the wood between them, he stood beyond the door. There was no clinking of keys, no rattle of knob. She rested her forehead on the smooth, cool surface; her heart simultaneously skipped a beat at the knowledge he was here and unspeakable sorrow choked her words.

“Please.” His own voice sounded strangled and out of breath. “That picture isn’t what ye think, it was—”

“No,” she croaked, breaking through the tears. “I listened to you and every word out of your mouth was a lie. I should have known. You and me—” 

Mo nighean donn, that lass and I—we used to date, yes, but years ago. I havena seen her since, and that picture, it was meant to spite me. The only truth is here, between us. Always… tha gaol agam ort.”

Silence. 

She reached around her neck. Her fingers fumbled for the clasp of the chain that bore his ring, and exasperated, she yanked at it. The chain broke and lay crumpled in her palm with the cabochon ruby nestled in the middle.

Finally grateful for the wide and drafty crack under the door, she knelt and slipped the ring and chain through it. She heard him gasp and then a soft chink as he picked it up. A beat and a deep breath.

“Claire, I would never hurt you. Please, believe me,” he implored. 

“I did,” Claire whispered. “Not anymore.”


She had crawled back to the bedroom and finally slept for hours and hours.

Claire wasn’t aware of when he had left, but when she peeked under the door, there was no one there. No note either, nothing. The lack of food eventually got to her. Debating her choices, phone-less, she decided she had to leave the apartment to shop for groceries. Just around the corner. Then maybe e-mail her teachers. Get a bit of studying done. Stop thinking, stop feeling. 

Gathering strength she didn’t know was there, she dressed warmly and ambled over to the corner shop. No one talked to her, or even looked at her. Claire clutched her bags and trekked back to the building. And someone was waiting on the steps this time.

Tall, but not tall enough to be him. She hated to admit it to herself; her heart pounded, but it was Joe who turned around.

“Lady Jane! Finally! I’ve been here for fifteen minutes. Are you alright?” He took the bags from her while she fumbled for her key. 

“I will be,” Claire said grimly, “I promise. Come in.”

Joe helped her put the groceries away, watching her warily all the time. Claire finally exhaled in exasperation.

“Joe, what is it?” She leaned against the counter and waited expectantly.

“He came to see me at the hospital yesterday,” Joe said simply; he also seemed to know instinctively not to say that name.

Claire crossed her arms defensively. “He came here, too. I refused to see him.”

“I did not. I wanted to hear what he had to say—explain himself. You are my friend, Lady Jane, and it hurts me to see you suffer.”

“I don’t want to hear more lies, Joe. Twice in less than a year… I think it’s more than enough.”

“He put his sister on the phone for me. Jenny?” Joe sat at the kitchen table and gestured for Claire to do the same.

“Yes. What does she have to do with this?” Claire asked resignedly, plopping down on the chair.

“She said to tell you, it’s not in her brother’s nature to lie,” Joe said carefully. He pulled a newspaper clipping from the pocket of his coat and set it in front of her. It was from a different publication, where The Clan’s PR denied the relationship between their lead singer and Annalise de Marillac. 

“Please. Celebrities do this all the time. Damage control.” She ran her hand through her hair, tired of excuses.

“She also pointed out something in the picture that doesn’t fit. Did you look at it, really look? Beyond the obvious, I mean. Fucking gossip rags will do anything for money.” Joe stood up and pulled the old newspaper towards them. Wrinkled, but otherwise clear. He smoothed it out. “Here. See?”

Joe tapped at the right hand, swinging beside him. The left, enveloped in Annalise’s grip; Claire deliberately covered up the girl’s face. But the right hand… her breath caught in her throat. 

“It can be a bit troublesome when playing guitar,” he had said.

He was a left-handed guitar player. His right hand was always bare to enable him to press down on the strings and twist to play all the chords freely. 

He—Jamie—was wearing the ring in the picture. 

Breathless

Title: Breathless

Pairing: Byun Baekhyun x Reader

Genre: Smut, fluff

Warnings: Morning sex, sinful acts involving oranges, Byun Baekhyun, thin white shorts, not-so-timid erections

A/N: Inspired by the song by Shayne Ward (You should listen to it!).


Originally posted by chanyeol-ie


Byun Baekhyun awoke with what felt like eyes leaded with dust and a head full of sand. He stretched comfortably against the sheets, his soft skin melting deeper into the cotton. His tongue was laden with a tangy, unfamiliar taste. He blinked, staring past a long, pale arm to the sight of his beloved beside him, sleeping soundlessly.

He watched as your chest gently rose and fell beneath the duvet, your breasts and shoulders hidden beneath the pale sheets. Sunlight slanted through the thin curtains, giving the room an amorous, white glow. Your cheeks were warm and pink against the pillow, soft from the tranquil herbs of sleep.
Gently moving as not to wake you, Baekhyun slowly slipped from beneath the covers. His morning erection rocked expectantly against his thigh, but he ignored it, snaking across the floor with the gentle treads of a butterfly. He bent to the floor, replacing his naked legs with the familiar, silky cloth of his white pajama shorts, and listlessly shrugged on a white dress shirt, not bothering to button it closed. He escaped quickly to the bathroom where he carefully cleaned up, brushing his teeth until they gleamed a blinding, pearly white, and washed his face. When he was done, he shifted down the hall and towards the kitchen where he gathered a clean, wooden tray, a sturdy pitcher of orange juice and a food hamper from the cupboard. After pouring two glasses of orange juice and a cold jug of milk, he placed the food hamper on the counter and carefully ripped it open, removing a wrapped set of toasted muffins, four plain bagels, six slices of bread, a fresh wedge of cheese, two handfuls of grape and apples and a round, bumpy orange. He placed a sturdy, china plate in the middle and carefully glazed it with the food, keeping the orange locked in his hand. When he was done, he turned to regard it sturdily.
It was cold and stone in his hand, yet felt like it could easily melt into a pool of runny, warm juice if pinned under his gaze long enough. Shaking away any further thoughts of perplexity on trivial, piddling fruits, he fixed it calmly next to the stash of cheese and turned to pluck the slices of bread into the toaster.
While he waited, he gently garnished two of the bagels with some sweet cinnamon spread and sliced the cheese into limp, even pieces. When the toast was ready, he tossed them readily onto the tray, which he took steadily into his hands, and started out of the kitchen and back along the hall, starting to recognize the familiar taste lingering on his tongue.
Your taste.
When he returned, the bedroom was still worn with the familiar albescence of waning dawn and his erection was now fitfully jerking against his thigh. He set the tray nicely against the bedside table, careful not to make too much noise with moving things around, and bent down so he was level with your peaceful sleeping figure. Brushing a loose strand of hair from your eyes, he admired the slip of bare shoulder peeking from the heavy coat of duvet. Seeing you like that made him want to hold and protect you even more and he fretfully hoped he’d showed you that last night.
A smile tugged impatiently at his lips as you began to stir, your hair moving to splay across your neck. He knew how much you hated that and moved it slyly, carefully studying your face as you wearily came to consciousness.
You twisted your head, turning to look at him. He was beautiful—the way the white light fluidly fell around his exquisitely lean form, his shirt parted around his nude front, the smooth dips in his stomach and sharp angles of his pectorals greeting you smugly.
“Good morning, princess,” he brushed a strand of dark hair from your eyes, smiling warmly.
You giggled, almost childishly. “Shouldn’t a princess receive a kiss the moment she wakes up?”
“I thought a kiss was what woke a beautiful princess up,” he mused, leaning forward. His nose brushed yours and a blush bloomed in your cheeks. He smiled, eyes flamed with compassion, and closed his lips over yours. It was a warm, sweet kiss and you fretfully bit back a groan as his tongue gave you a wet, warm greeting. The taste of sweet fruit and tea exploded into your mouth—the taste of Byun Baekhyun. You cupped the back of his neck, tugging him closer as his tongue gently lapped against yours.
He shrugged a hand beneath the covers, skimming his fingers across your hip as he pulled from your lips. “Breakfast?”
You furrowed your eyebrows as he gestured soundlessly towards the tray on the bedside table. You smiled, suddenly aware of how unbearably hungry you were as Baekhyun took the tray into his hands and perched next to you on the bed.
“Good sleep?” He grabbed the knife from the tray with one hand, fixing a bagel on the plate with other. You nodded as he began to garnish the bagel with warm cinnamon spread, occasionally licking his thumb and fingers free of it.
“You?”
He nodded enthusiastically, and you watched as both his eyes and hands fell in concert across the blanket covering your breasts. You emitted a shaky gasp and Baekhyun’s eyes lit above his smug sneer. He gently lowered the duvet, exposing your chest. His eyes glittered as he marveled at your rounded breasts, his fingers reaching to dance over the curved rosebuds tipping the flesh. He brushed your nipples softly with his thumb, the air swirling around them becoming blissfully warm. He quietly hummed and straightened himself again, seemingly in a freshly good mood, and took the handle of the knife once more between his delicate fingers and started the blade along the edge of the orange. A blush bloomed in your cheeks as you remembered how those fingers had sinfully worked you to euphoria.
“Oops.”
You quivered as you felt a drop of wetness hit the top of your chest. You looked down to see a strip of orange-colored liquid snaking almost languidly down to your nipple. A chuckle sounded from your right, brimmed with immorality, and you turned your head to look down at him. He was grinning nefariously from the pillow, but you noticed his hands had moved. They were now tipped almost purposefully over your breasts, the juice from the knife seeping freely to your skin. He pulled the knife back and sank the tip between his lips, coaxing the tangy-flavored stickiness into his mouth. You remembered how he’d poised his lips just like that when he’d been in between your legs the night before, his eyes and tongue flickering wickedly.
He divested his mouth of the knife, driving it deep into the orange until the hilt was perfectly damp with yellow-orange liquid. His eyes roamed over your body, vigilant and watchful, and he gently plucked the knife from the base of the fruit, moving it so the flat end of the blade suspended just over your right breast. He lowered it slowly and you swallowed a gasp the moment the cold blade touched your skin. The flesh became doused with streams of bright, runny liquid and you watched as several drops swirled around the mounted bud of your nipple.
“Mmm,” he reached to gently cup the underside of your breast, his fingers dipping into the full, soft flesh. “What a mess, I’ve made. Guess I’d better clean it up.
You watched as he dipped his head forward and took your breast into his mouth, humming against you. He drew on it lightly, pulling softly, almost tentatively, at the nipple, measuring your reaction carefully.
"You’re killing me, Byun Baekhyun.” He reached up, tenderly cupping the bottom of your other breast as his lips closed around the nipple, suckling sweetly. When he was done and faintly assured all his “mess” was cleaned up, he looked up at you, flicking an excess strand of hair off your bare shoulder.
“Wouldn’t that be such a sweet death?” he murmured, lower lip grazing your nipple.
You shivered, unable to meet his eye. His breath grazed your neck and you sank your teeth into your lower lip, concealing a moan.
“Don’t be shy with me, sweetheart,” his hand ran up your bare thigh, which softened against his touch. He closed his lips around your nipple again, feeling it peak even further in his mouth. His pride seemed to swell as you finally released a soft, shrill whimper and he moved a hand down beneath the duvet to caress your hip.
“So beautiful,” he gently pecked the other breast, the nipple mounting almost immediately at his touch. He smiled, reaching out a single finger to graze the rosy bud. You shivered, sharply taking your lip between your teeth as his finger ghosted across your nipple, sending tuffs of heat swirling around in the flesh. “So sweet.” He leaned forward, drawing it into his mouth whilst reaching under the duvet to grab your thigh. He gently pulled you from under the sheets and placed you gently on his lap, paying homage to your breast all the while. You cupped the back of his head as he stared up at you, running careful fingers along your skin with one hand. You heaved the tray off his lap and leaned across his legs, planting it firmly on the bedside table. The orange juice quivered with disappointment on the wooden surface.
“Are you sure you just want to discard breakfast like this, sweetheart?” he whispered, feigning concern as he ran a hand across your stomach.
“Oh, I’m sure,” you murmured, reaching below the duvet to slip a hand inside his shorts. His face immediately darkened as your fingers folded tightly around his erection, breath catching against you. You pressed kiss after kiss against the slope of his throat, stroking surely, but hesitantly. The incoherent growls in your ear propelled and coaxed you onward as you splayed your lips against his bare pectorals, nipping gently at the arched flesh. His soft, harsh grunts turned into pants as you quickened your speed, petting him definitely.
He suddenly arched up off the bed, wrist folding tightly around your hand as he wrenched your fingers free of his erection. Perplexed, you tried to study his face to see what was the matter, but he crushed his lips against yours, breathing harshly.
“Not now, baby,” he panted, stretching a hand between your legs. “I don’t want to come yet.” He began to pet you softly, latching the skin of your neck between his lips. He sucked, not to hard, but not gently either and a dark, purplish mark fused in his lips’ wake.
You drew your lip tightly between your teeth, shamelessly beginning to slide against his fingers. A smirk formed on his face again as he watched you, panting and beginning to slightly curve against him with need. His other hand splayed gently across your ass, guiding you forward as he leaned to press an earnest kiss against your heart.
“What happened to being shy?” he breathed against the muscle beating frenetically in your chest.
“I want you too bad to care anymore,” you whispered, reaching to draw the flesh of his neck into your mouth. He stilled, a groan spilling in your ear. You remembered how he’d groaned and quaked for you last night—sex with Baekhyun was absolutely nothing less than fulfilling.
“I can’t take it anymore,” he roused, reaching to grope you by the ass. His erection was sitting expectantly between the crevice of your asscheeks, twitching slightly against your skin. “I need you.” He pressed chaste kisses against the hollow of your throat and the supple skin of your neck. “Now.”
You groaned, feeling as he rocked against you. Driven by need, you took him into your hand, pinning him right up against your entrance. Then, making sure to poise yourself straight to attention, you drew yourself down onto him with a quick, sweeping motion. He groaned, loud and fervent against your throat and you cupped the back of his neck, pressing kisses all along the crown of his head.
“God, I love you,” he whispered against your throat. “I love moving inside of you.” He leaned back against the pillow, blonde hair spilling against snowy cotton. You watched as his erection slipped in and out of you, lined with gleaming licks of wetness.
“Damn,” he rasped, reaching to pet your clit. You gasped, fighting back the urge to grab his wrist. Your stomach flamed with something tight and unbearable and as you fought it back, he began to quicken his movements, rubbing you in time to his thrusts. “Damn, you’re so wet.”
You ran your hands across his chest, mapping the surface, painting the warmth of his nipples with your fingers and coloring the flesh of his hips with your palms. He caught your waist firmly with his hands, edging you onward, bucking to meet every single roll of your hips. He was slow, yet passionate, his face a mask of free euphoria as you moved in blissful concert, his mouth slack with ecstasy, his eyes deep and loving. The twinges of the sensation seemed to swirl and jet around you, catching you in its blissful halo as you rose and dropped against him.
“Look at me,” he grated as your head began to lull back. He cupped a comforting hand around the back of your head, long, delicate fingers bringing you back to eye level. It was too much—too intense—swirling in his eyes was a hazy collection of emotions: love, affection, lust, concern. You bent forward, brushing your lips with his, but you didn’t draw them in completely, just grazing them lightly. He tugged you forward, trying to ease your mouths together, but you remained still, all the while still moving sinfully against him.
Desperation filled his eyes as he pulled at your hips in rebuttal, locking his lips together in earnest.
“Please,” he rasped, his voice hoarse and throaty, his eyes locked on yours. “Please—if anything — let me kiss you.”
You swallowed, feeling your dominant facade slowly crumbling beneath his soft gaze. You drew his lips slowly into yours, savoring the taste of him, the feel of him melting into you. He lifted up and his bare chest slid against yours, his arm folding around you. You watched, mouth aloft, eyes burning with bliss as he heatedly rocked into you, his hips pouncing from the bed with each thrust. Your head fell back, your eyes closing as pleasure wracked every inch of your body, overtaking each particle, twisting it into a tight knot of ecstasy. He held you close, his mouth planting searing spots across every space of skin. You struggled against the strong, overbearing hands of orgasm tugging freely at you, coaxing you forward into its hot, smoky depths; you wanted to hold on—you didn’t want it to end yet, you didn’t want to let Baekhyun go.
“Look at me, love.”
It was like lifting the heftiest load of lead from your eyelids: your forced open your eyes, looking down into the sea of rust-colored oblivion. His eyebrows were narrowed and nudged together, his whole face crinkled with pleasure. You could tell he was close, not just from the sound of his heavy, ragged moan, increasing in volume, but from the sharpness of his movements, the dutiful charge of his hips, the snapping of his pelvis, the tight drawing of lower lip between teeth. You arched against him, reeling and tightening, as he leaned forward, lapping and sucking at your breasts. His hands went to cup your ass, guiding and gently mapping your movements, bringing you closer and closer to the brink of ecstasy.
And then the knot that had been binding you tightly, concealing you from the face of pleasure, had suddenly been set loose. The world seemed to tumble around you, a blinding haze of white, brown, and orange, and at once you felt that time seemed to let go of you. You were suspended in mid-air, poised like a rocket sent to space, frozen in a period of free, scorching lust.
Something tightened again, deep in your stomach, and you finally, gloriously fell.
And then hands were slowly bringing you back to reality, grabbing and pulling you towards a wall of soft skin. Your head fell against a damp, clothed shoulder and the smooth skin of cotton seemed to slowly lull you from your daze. You felt Baekhyun’s hand gently smoothing out the curves of your back, rising and falling rapidly against his fingers. With the other hand, he carefully lifted your face, bringing you up to face him. His hair was a bright, tousled mess, blonde threads falling in loose heaps all along his temples and forehead. A trickle of sweat fell smoothly between each of his pectorals, which were rising and falling rapidly against your own chest.
God, he was beautiful.
“Are you okay?” He reached to cup your chin with the other hand, regarding you peacefully. “Y-You looked like you were about to faint. You were all flushed.”
Instead of responding, you reached forward, breathlessly splaying your lips across his, kissing him with every last ounce of energy you had. You smoothed his face with both hands, mapping your fingers across the angled curves of his cheeks, sailing the point of his chin with your thumb. He groaned against you, pulling you closer and you folded your arms tightly around his neck, never wanting to let go.
Unfortunately, he broke away.
“Gosh, that was amazing.”
You sniggered, a blush blooming in your cheeks. “We really should—have breakfast in bed more—often.”
He squeezed you tightly, smoothing the curve of your chin, drawing sensual patterns along the skin of your hip with his other hand. “Catch your breath first, sweetheart. And yes, we really should.”
You leaned forward again, dragging his lips into yours as he melted into you again, the tip of his erection probing your asscheeks. “Can I at least say one thing?”
He nodded, his hair bobbing wildly against his forehead.
“I love you.”
He smiled, his eyes sparkling with warmth. He kissed you, a nice, light peck as his hands glided along your hips. “I love you too.”
And then you were leaning into him again, drawing him inside, and with a soft, hoarse groan, the cycle started all over again.

A Wedding and Two Proposals- Chapter 2 (the first proposal)

Chapter One

Summary: In which Adrien tries to plan a proposal to Marinette. It doesn’t go well. Sequel to Smoulder.

“No offense bro, but I am actually going to murder you.”

This was the third time Nino had said such a thing in the past hour. At first, Adrien had been rather alarmed by the uncharacteristic threat. Now he, alongside Nathanael, continued to sip their coffee in relative peace.

Well, as peaceful as Adrien could be, given the circumstances.

It was roughly a month after the newlyweds had returned from their honeymoon. Nino had managed to sneak away from Alya once to call Adrien and screech about him dropping ‘the proposal bomb’ on him. 

Whilst Adrien had the good sense to feel remorseful over his sudden confession at their reception, he couldn’t help but be amused. Once he’d gotten over the initial shock at his decision to propose to Marinette, he’d been dancing on air. Nino, it seemed, had taken on all the stress on Adrien’s behalf.

“You keep threatening that, Headphones,” Plagg shot back over his plate of camembert, peering at Nino with a raised eyebrow. “I thought being a newlywed was supposed to be a calming time?”

“Oh, hush you,” Trixx replied, landing on the kitchen table beside him and fluffing her tail in front of Plagg’s nose, much to the latter’s protest. “He’s clearly just missing his mate.”

Nathanael, who was privy to the madness unfolding (considering it was occurring in his own home) leaned back in his chair with a grin aimed straight at Adrien. “Have a kwami meeting,” he mocked, “plan a proposal together. Several minds are better than one! Still think that?”

As Tikki snoozed on his shoulder, a tiny bit of drool oozing from the corner of her mouth, whilst Plagg and Trixx bickered on the table and Nino looked on the verge on his fifth mental breakdown, Adrien did indeed admit to having some regrets.

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Why snack?

We all know that, to keep our brains running smoothly, we need to fuel them appropriately with a balanced diet. This is specially important during exams or other stress periods, because mental work burns more calories than sometimes we realize.

One easy and effective way to get that extra energy our brains need are snacks. When used in conjunction with an already good diet, they can give a much needed boost to your memory, attention, comprehension…

When to snack?

I’ve found the best time to go for a little snack is during studying breaks. I use the pomodoro technique, so every 25 minutes I’ll have a little break, and that’s when I do my snacking. Not every break has to be a snack-break, of course!

If I am cramming, I find eating while studying also works, but it is messier and can interrupt your focus. So try your best to plan little breaks at set intervals!

How to snack?

Eat small things, both in portion and in size. Finger foods are much better than stuff you need utensils for. Bite sized foods work best and are generally less messy. Small portions mean you get energy as you need it, and that you won’t overeat or force your body to do a heavy digestion while studying (trust me, you don’t want that! You want all the energy going to your brain and not your guts!).

What to snack?

Here’s where many people get stuck, but truth is possibilities are endless. I advise against junk food, but even that is better (in moderation, of course!) than having nothing at all. It is a good idea to plan ahead what you will be eating and snacking that week: this way you can make sure you choose a variety of foods with good nutritional values, and your choices are wiser.

Some ideas:

  • Drinks
    • Fruit smoothies (a favorite here is frozen strawberries, banana & cinnamon)
    • Tea (any type, hot or iced)
    • A small cup of hot chocolate
    • Orange juice
  • Fruit and vegs
    • Grapes
    • Berries (I’m a fan of blueberries, but to each their own!)
    • Carrot, green pepper and/or celery sticks
    • Hummus (pair it up with the vegetable sticks and it’s yummy!)
    • Guacamole (it can work as a dip, too!)
    • Clementine wedges
    • An apple
    • A banana
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Pickles
  • Carbs
    • Oat cookies
    • Bread sticks
    • A good old sandwich (this one is too much for me, but it’s good for longer breaks)
    • Hard pretzels or pretzel rods
    • Dark chocolate (but do not overdo this one!)
    • Popcorn (same here!)
    • M&Ms (or similar, but in moderation)
    • Granola bars
  • Fats and Proteins
    • Nuts (I’m specially a fan of walnuts, but any one goes!)
    • Olives (pitless)
    • Cheese (wedges, mini cheese balls, diced…)
    • Yogurt
    • A hard boiled egg
    • Cold meats (diced, rolled up slices…)

The list, honestly, is endless, as are the benefits of regular and healthy snacking for students like you and me.

ETA: Adding more snack ideas as I come up with them. Feel free to share yours!

(Note of the Author: Please forgive any mistakes I may have made. English is my third language and sometimes I get brain-hiccups while writing long things!)

anonymous asked:

Ay fam, your writing is just beautiful! You bring so much life to the trashmouse and other OW characters. If it isn't too much, can you write a Jester/Fool!Junkrat x Fem!Reader? Not enough loving for that sick skin. Can either be SFW or NSFW. Keep up the good work :)

[Sorry for the wait and thanks loads bean xx I did a SFW but if ya want a nsfw just fire away]


FEMALE READER


It had been a long day in the palace, cleaning the kitchen had taken alot out of you and you wanted nothing more then to just retire to the garden for the evening, making take some bread and cheese, little cider. Thankfully your king was a kind and good man, allowed his servants good rights. You packed up your dinner, a little jug of homemade cider and waved goodbye to the older women you worked with.

Once in the garden you sat on a bench letting out a happy sigh as you turned your attention to your package, unwrapping it and setting out the little picnic on the bench next to you, a thick piece of bread which you spread a chunk of butter on. As you were about to sink your teeth into it you heard a jingle.. you paused, nothing, another jingle and you almost jumped out your seat when suddenly there was a painted face upside down but inches from yours.

“Oi, oi, pretty lady, spare a bite for a fool?” came the voice, the painted grin growing.

The court jester must have been in the tree you had been sitting under but only just made his presence known, he was hanging upside down on a branch, he waved his good hand at you with a giggle as he allowed himself to sit back up before dropping to the ground with more jingles as the bells in his hair and clothes moved with him.

“You scared me to death” you huffed at him.

“Weren’t me intention darl’ but I woz ‘ere first” he chuckled, bells moving in time with it.

He was just one noisy human being. His face painted in white and bright standout colours, hair was painted a deep blue and his outfit was more colours then you had ever seen in one place. You looked over the lean man as he crossed his legs in front of you, sitting on the lush grass and still eyeing up your sandwich.

“Hungry?” you asked as you got another piece of bread out the little basket, adding a blob of butter, making it up as you had your own, a thick wedge of cheese handing it to the fool.

“Aw thanks mate” he grinned and took it when it was offered.

He munched it right away, his mouth open as he ate, no table manners but you didn’t mind, the fool was pleasant company, you often bumped into him after you finished work, he was always happy and willing to talk to you. He was eating the food and looking at you as he did. You gave a soft nod before eating your own.

“Thanks again darl’ ya wanna see a trick as a thanks?” he asked getting to his feet.

He was such a strange looking person, missing an arm and a leg, such a rare thing to see, most people who had suffered such wounds wouldn’t be around to tell the tale but here he was. He limped away a little so he had space and did a cartwheel for you, you clapped your hands and he let out a cackle, pleased with your reaction.

Then he stood to his fully, very tall and somewhat scary height as he loomed over you before he settled into his normal hunched state. Jamison winked at you before showing his not so perfect smile. “'Ang on darl’ I gotta get me balls out for the next one”

He pulled out brightly coloured balls that looked oddly like explosives, part of you mused if they were really balls or the latter, after all you had heard of tales, rumors of the mans life before he was ‘imported’ from the outback to be the King’s entertainment. He cackled at his own dirty implied comment, waggling his brows, well, the bits where his brow hair should have been.

“Sorry ta disappoint ya but last time I got me bits out I got a slappin’ from the ol’ bat” he rolled his eyes thinking of the head maid that ran the servants.

You laughed again and watched as he started to juggle, it seemed like a simple enough trick, one he had done many times before, curious to what made this one new. He chucked all the balls into the air and caught them one by one, he watched you intently for your reaction, he loved getting attention from people, negative or otherwise. He pushed all the balls together in both hands..

“Oi, move closer….” he urged.

Giving him a skeptical look you nodded and leaned forwards his closed hands, he then cracked them open, you moved closer, now intrigued what the fool was up to. If this was a trick like the flower that shot out that horrible black oil like before you were going to have such words with him. He watched you clean close.. he opened his hands and there was nothing.

A howl of laughter as you just blinked, he held his toned exposed middle and giggled behind his hand now. You sighed and shook your head at him, really? that wasn’t new either.. He then leaned in close, face inches apart which caused you to blush, so close to the oddly handsome fool.

“Wait, wait, I found somthin’ behin’ ya ear”

He moved his good hand towards your ear and pulled out such a pretty flower which had been tucked behind it. You stared at it as he offered you the pretty thing. Still with that grin that he tried to make look genuine, but he always looked like he was up to something… which in your defense, he normally was.

“Oh wow, that’s so pretty j-jester” you said softly looking at the delicate thing.

“Me names Jamison” he said with a bow once he’d moved back a little, giving another little wink. the bells chimed as he did so.

“Jamison…”

“Yep! an’ not many people know tha’ darl” The brightly coloured male hopped from fake leg to real leg, pleased with himself, more cackles as he blew you a kiss and was soon off on his way.

Suddenly you felt more interested then entertained by the court jester..

||❥ a handheld midnight

w o n w o o ! s c e n a r i o

Originally posted by wonwoowho

word count: 2,027

genre: fluffy fluff + a lil bit of the spooks

includes: jeon wonwoo who takes you to explore the abandoned complex in the woods and potentially uses it as an excuse to hold your hand. 

✎ yall have no idea how bad i want to write a horror type fic with gore nd shit like some ppl aren’t down with that nd i respect that BUT I WANNA WRITE ONE SO BADADJOAF. anyways enjoy! 


“This is such a dumb idea; we should go back to the movie while we’re still alive and breathing.”

Your vexed whisper hardly breached through the crunch of scattered tree leaves, the moon holding a high poise in the sky as you attempted to keep up with Wonwoo. He was persistent in slithering his way deeper into the forest, past oak bark starting to splinter and brambles meshed with stray clumps of moss.

He scoffed from ahead, ducking under a branch that drooped across the mulch coated pathway, dewy leaves brushing his shoulders. “You have to admit it was getting boring, this is gonna be way more fun.” He emphasized with a quick glean in your direction, nothing apart from morose accumulating in your stomach. His eyes shone a little too brightly in the darkness, moonlight glinting off them in mischievous ways.

“It wasn’t that boring,” you huff while catching up to him, resisting the urge to hold his hand when a snap rang from the darkness, “I mean yeah, Elise getting her foot stuck in Mrs. Shea’s pecan pie while Warren interrogated the dog sitter for plans to the tranquilizer was old school, but I was enjoying it!”

Like any students free on a Friday night, you brushed any thoughts of perfecting your notes into another dimension and bought tickets for the drive-in movie. You and Wonwoo hitched a ride with Seungcheol and his film crew, the clip they had to shoot for class the last thing on their minds when purchasing too much popcorn and licorice. Halfway through the film they slipped away to refill their drinks, leaving you with your best friend, Wonwoo, to awkwardly share your blanket.

He’d been right, the movie was starting to bore, and you couldn’t keep scraping the popcorn container for morsels that didn’t exist. You’d already suffered too many blush-worthy moments of your hands brushing and the midnight air growing tangibly thick when the two best friends in the film confessed to each other.

Thank god Seungcheol and his gawky gang hadn’t been there for that, or else the teasing would have melted your ears. It was only a few minutes afterward that Wonwoo pulled the blanket away from his chin and offered a much more eventful way to take advantage of the night, by visiting the abandoned building complex buried within the woods. You left before Seungcheol and his film crew could return, and were you ever regretting that decision now.

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The Anniversary

Chapter 2

————– Adrien’s POV ————-

Adrien had arrived early to school, too eager to get much sleep. Today was the day that he first met his lady, and he got to celebrate the occasion by wearing a ladybug costume, how fitting.

If it were up to him he would be wearing an exact replica of his bug-a-boo’s costume, mask and all. But it wasn’t meant to be. His father told him that “playing dress-up” at Adrien’s age was tasteless, and since he is always in the public eye, his father couldn’t condone such things.

Which meant that he had to find a way to represent his complete and udder admiration for the love of his life while also looking like the perfect model son that his father wants him to be.

Keep reading

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection - Localization Blog #1

Excelsior, true believers! Nick here again, penning these gladsome tidings from my grand scriptorium full of musty scrolls and ancient cartridges. Alas, it’s been quite a while since I checked in with all of you – well over a year, in fact, with the release of the first Trails of Cold Steel. With that giant title now roaming free in the wild like the majestic brachiosaurs in Jurassic Park, you may have wondered what I’ve been working on over the course of the last year. It always seems to unintentionally happen that I get assigned to projects I can’t talk about for significant lengths of time, but this stretch has easily been the longest. So many times I’ve wanted to tell you some quirky story or fun little side-note about this game as I worked through its script, but alas, the official XSEED duct tape was covering my mouth – until very recently, that is.

In our yearly lead-up to the gaming extravaganza that is E3, we finally announced my long-in-coming project: the classic Falcom action RPG Zwei 2, making its debut outside of Japan as Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection!

Of course, I’ve also helped out with a variety of other, more time-sensitive projects, leading to Zwei taking a bit longer to bring to you than it would have otherwise, but I think we’ve got something you’ll really enjoy in the making here. And conveniently, the benefit of the slow going is that the release isn’t too far off now. As Zwei II enters its final stretch before release, I wanted to tell you more about the game – which is exactly what I’ll do, over the course of the next couple weeks.

Zwei II has an interesting history: released in 2008, it was the very last game Falcom developed exclusively for PC. Back then, the PC gaming market was far from being the robust, thriving scene we know it as today, especially the Japanese market. Thus, the title seemed almost fated to fly under the radar despite its quality craftsmanship and hours of fun. But now, with the worldwide PC game market booming and digital storefronts ensuring copies can get into the hands of anyone who wants to play, it felt like the right time to fill this conspicuous gap in Falcom’s lineage.

“But…what about the first Zwei?” you may be pondering aloud to your monitor. If you’re wondering whether you’ll be at a disadvantage playing the second game in the series before the first, worry not! I’ve played both (thanks to Tom’s Japanese boxed copies) and can confirm that Zwei II gives you all the info you need to understand the world, its plot, and its characters. There was a 7-year gap between the first and second Zwei games in Japan, and Falcom couldn’t assume players would’ve played the earlier entry, so the structure is something more akin to Trails in the Sky versus Trails of Cold Steel, where the games take place in the same world, but in different locations and with different casts. This makes it easy to jump right in.

To start things off, I wanted to sit down and flesh out the game a little for you, since compared to its siblings in the Ys series, and even Xanadu, it’s far less known by fans. What is the Zwei series? What makes it great? How does it play? Why is it cool?

Let’s start from the ground up: the name of the game. “Zwei” is simply the German word for “two” and, as you’ll soon discover, it’s a very fitting title – the game features not one, but two protagonists. Our leads in Zwei II are Ragna Valentine, a lively treasure hunter and pilot-for-hire, and Alwen du Moonbria, a confident vampire princess looking to avenge herself against an unknown enemy. How these two very different people meet and come to really understand (and maybe even appreciate) each other is the relationship that forms the heart of the game, and I’ve done my best to make that journey of growth and understanding a fun and memorable one. And, as with any good RPG, the journey is not without obstacles to overcome. Fortunately, our hero and heroine are up to the task, with Ragna skilled at mixing it up in melee, and Alwen versed in the ways of magic. You can swap between them at any time, and whoever you’re not controlling runs along behind you, ready to leap into the lead role at the press of a button.

Zwei II’s combat is action-based, not unlike the Ys games or Gurumin, but the two-character setup creates an interesting dynamic in combat. Over the course of the game, Ragna will be able to upgrade his weapon, the half chain-whip/half katar Anchor Gear, into several different forms, and Alwen (who begins the game bereft of most of her magic) will regain her powerful spells. You end up being able to do some interesting things, like using a claw-variant of Ragna’s Anchor Gear to grab an enemy, then throw it into another enemy, knocking both into a corner, then swapping to Alwen and unloading a fiery salvo on them. Or have Alwen cast her whirlwind magic to sweep up a couple enemies and keep them stun-locked, then swap to Ragna to leap into the air and string together a midair combo on them. In many dungeons, I often found myself favoring one or the other to take the lead because of the strategies I came up with to best deal with certain types of enemies, and you’ll likely fall into styles of play that fit the way you prefer to approach the game’s combat as well.

And speaking of approaches to combat, Zwei II has a rather unique leveling system, too. In the game, you don’t earn EXP from quests, or from beating up monsters. You actually earn it by eating food – the same food you use to heal yourself when you’re running low on HP. There’s even a “food exchange” service available at the restaurant in the main village of Artte that lets you trade 10 of any one type of food for one of another type that gives more EXP than the ten individual pieces of food would have if eaten on their own (example: trade 10 cheeses worth 10 EXP each for a single pizza worth 150 EXP). Will you chow down now, or hoard in the hopes of cashing in for savory plates of EXP-rich cuisine? You decide! It probably sounds weird (it certainly did to me when I first learned about it), but in practice, it actually works really well. It frees you up from having to grind in dungeons, or feel like you absolutely MUST kill every enemy on the way to your destination. It also gives you a lot of control over your own challenge level. When I was playing the Japanese version of the game, my loose rule was that I’d never eat food just to level – I’d just use it when I was hurt, to restore HP. I ended up going through most of the game under-leveled because of this, but never TOO under-leveled, because the more under-leveled I was, the more damage I’d take, thus getting infusions of EXP more frequently from using food to heal myself. There’s a strange sort of balance to it, and the game isn’t stingy about giving you food in chests, as drops from enemies, and even from giant slot machines you’ll find in each dungeon, so you can decide whether you want to blow through the game as a force of nature but with less on-demand healing available, or a bit underpowered but with a fully-stocked pantry.

If that talk of slot machines that dispense food or trading wedges of cheese for a pizza sounds a little…weird, that’s by design. More than any Falcom game I can think of, the Zwei series embraces its sense of humor, poking in good-spirited fun at its two main characters, the townspeople, and even many of the foes you face down along the way. It’s got a lively, colorful, and cartoonish art style that has helped the graphics hold up well, too. You probably know from personal experience that stories more focused on being comedic sometimes run the risk of not being able to successfully shift into a more serious mode when the story calls for it, but thankfully, Zwei II doesn’t suffer from this issue. It’s surprisingly adept at conveying a serious atmosphere when the story calls for it, making for some excellent dramatic moments, and even a dab of pathos here and there. But on the whole, Zwei II is a game that feels deeply informed by 90s anime and manga, with all the oddness and charm that comes with that. I can certainly say that being rooted in that style proved fertile ground for my work to help the game achieve its comedic potential (speaking as a weeb from ancient times), and I’m already planning my next blog post to focus on some of the details of the writing and the characters.

One thing I love about Zwei II is that it reaches out and really grabs you from the start. In just the first 20-30 minutes, you get the following ace setup (obviously, skip these next two paragraphs if you want to go in totally blind):

The game begins in the skies, as courier pilot Ragna Valentine is cruising in his cool red biplane, the Tristan, toward the island of Ilvard on a routine delivery mission. Suddenly, he’s ambushed by unknown assailants, and after a dogfight against a pair of dragon-riders in the skies over Ilvard, his plane takes a bad hit and plummets toward the land below. The next thing he knows, he wakes up in a bed in the nearby town of Artte as the town doctor marvels at how he came out of such a crushing impact with barely a scratch. After all, his plane didn’t fare nearly as well. Going out to investigate the crash site, Ragna finds his plane on a hill on the outskirts of town, busted up and snapped in half just as the doctor said. So how did he even survive such a nasty crash?

Well…he almost didn’t. After that crash, as he lay among the wreckage, broken of body and bleeding out, he was rescued from his mortal fate by none other than Princess Alwen du Moonbria. Alwen isn’t your ordinary RPG princess, though: she’s a sharp-tongued shut-in vampire princess. Not too long before the start of the story, Alwen’s castle was invaded by a mysterious foe who ultimately seized the stronghold and gave her the boot, after stripping her of her ancestral magic. Seeing the outsider Ragna as her best bet to help her search for her magic and retake her castle, she takes some of his blood and gives him some of hers, sealing a pact that turns him into her ‘Blood Knight’ – a warrior in thrall to a powerful Trueblood vampire whose physical abilities and regenerative capacity far exceed what humans are capable of. But Ragna, see, is all about freedom and doing things his way, and he hates the idea of working as anyone’s lackey. After realizing the situation he’s in, though, he strikes a deal with Alwen: he’ll help her get her castle back as thanks for saving his life…but instead of being master and servant, they’ll do it as equals.

And so, our story begins.

Cool, right? And that all happens in fairly short order – no longwinded tutorials, no hours of quests before the gears really start to spin. Zwei II has a lot of heart and a lot of dialogue, and to its credit, it seldom feels like it drags. The story starts with a bang and keeps things moving at a good clip.

That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do, though. The island of Ilvard is dotted with thriving communities and, in the fashion of the Trails or Ys games, they’re populated with fleshed-out NPCs who have their own small story arcs and conflicts to overcome over the course of the game, with dialogue that changes frequently after progressing the main story. Some of the residents are funny, some are petulant, and some are just downright strange, so I hope you enjoy getting to know all of them over the many times you’ll visit the towns. You might even stumble upon unique scenes, a secret hint, or a good ol’ fashioned RPG quest (you know, the kind from back before there were convenient quest logs to keep track of things). And of course, what with Zwei II being focused on Ragna and Alwen as dual protagonists, they’ll often have unique things to say in response to other characters depending on whom you’ve got in the lead.

In the course of working on the game’s script, I observed with no small amount of fascination that in some ways, it almost seems like Zwei II was made more with Westerners in mind than the Japanese market. Ragna himself is an incredibly un-Japanese character, with his bravado, easygoing swagger, and sass, but he’s a character that I know will click instantly with the North American audience in particular. We see Ragnas in our books and films; we all probably know someone like him, or who has elements of his personality. Alwen, too, is a character I think will be well-liked by the West. Not content to lament the loss of her home or sit idly by, she picks herself up and decides to get even and take back everything that was taken from her even though it promises to be an uphill battle. The core of her personality is her self-assured nature – even when confronting a world she’s mainly just read about (in books that were, sadly, out of date on the latest trends and customs). Quick-witted and keen, she matches Ragna tit-for-tat, helping the two play well off each other. Beyond just them, there’s the wild west-flavored bounty hunter Odessa, chain-smoking nun Isabella, the worldly jazz pianist Shester, dependable engineer Miriam, and of course, the irrepressible luchador-masked man of mystery, Gallandeau, among many others. Having a zany cast of characters like this all together in one place feels like the kind of storytelling we enjoy so much in Japanese games. But at the same time, after seeing so many forgettably milquetoast light novel-style characters in the games and anime of recent years, it’s refreshing to come upon a game where the characters have an abundance of personality – where I know they’ll resonate with the audience I’m localizing the game for.

So…there you go. In a nutshell, this and more is what you have to look forward to when Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection finally makes its debut. Like a time capsule laden with the charms of a bygone era of RPGs, I think it’ll prove its worth to you as more than simply a pleasant surprise – I think it has the merit to stand proudly as one of Falcom’s finest.

Springtime Connection - Chapter 12

[A/N: Ok, I know that I’m late. Unfortunately I cannot promise that this won’t happen again. Someone asked how often I plan to update this summer and the answer is hopefully every 7-10 days. I have virtually no routine for the coming weeks so it has become difficult to find writing time ^^;, I hope you all understand and have an awesome read :D] 

Nathalie knocked on Adrien’s door, sending the teen and his kwami into a small frenzy as Plagg quickly hid underneath a pillow. Adrien sat up from the floor and placed one of the manga into his lap.

Nathalie peeked her head in and adjusted her glasses as she examined the mess of books across the floor. She sighed before reciting the data from her clipboard. 

Adrien flopped onto his bed as soon as Nathalie left his room after telling him his schedule changes for the coming weeks. At least his father had the wherewithal to lessen Adrien’s load right before the festival.

Nathalie closed the door with a click and walked down the hall to her office to gather her things. Before she left, she took a peek into Gabriel’s office where the designer was gazing at his missing wife’s portrait. Nathalie bit her lip as she thought about Adrien alone in his room. The two of them were truly the most unfortunate, and they couldn’t talk about it at all. Nathalie wished that Mme. Agreste would return even to just stop the endless cycle of loneliness sweeping the Agreste household. Quietly, she made her way to a side lot where her car was parked and drove off for the night.

Adrien hopped off his bed as Plagg floated before Adrien’s monitors to view Adrien’s various reference photos. “Are you really going to go to school dressed like this weirdo magician?” Plagg said while nibbling on a fresh wedge of cheese.

“Yes, because he’s a hero, not a magician. Well sort of. 

“So he’s a sidekick.”

“More like a comrade. 

“Well doesn’t that sound familiar.”

Adrien shot Plagg a glare. “Really, Plagg? First, we’re partners. Second, is this really the time for this?”

Plagg landed atop Adrien’s keyboard. He scarfed down the rest of his snack before wiping his mouth with the back of his paw. “Lighten up, kid.”

Adrien sighed. He knew that Plagg was just trying to help. Gabriel’s coldness wasn’t exactly what Adrien wanted and after his small respite, he felt the loneliness only more. “Fine,” Adrien said before sitting in his computer chair to stare at the plethora of screens.


Marinette transformed into Ladybug and climbed onto her terrace. The last rays of orange sun shone over the horizon as a small breeze cooled the early spring evening. She took in a deep breath.

What the hell am I getting myself into?

Her yo-yo wrapped around a far away building, and she zipped into the darkening sky. A few pedestrians pointed and took photos of the spotted heroine, but Ladybug paid them no mind. She had other things to think about.

Ladybug took the scenic route around Paris in order to ward off any followers. Apparently Alya’s fans were beginning to have their eye out for the super duo. Ladybug eventually swung into the many supports of the Eiffel Tower where she easily hid from any remaining eyes. She climbed through the steel bars until she came upon the back of the Agreste mansion. She quickly hopped into one of the grassy patches of land that bordered the property as she searched for Adrien’s window. She had only been there a few times before, and she couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable. The premises had the same cold atmosphere she remembered the first time she walked into the home. It felt empty with no light coming from any of the sizable windows. All except for one.


Adrien leaned into his armchair with his hands nestled behind his neck. Craft supplies were strewed across the floor, and a finished, if a bit amateur looking, mask sat on his desk atop a pile of textbooks. Everything was more or less ready. He even still had a cape from an old costume party. He thanked the heavens that the thing still fit.

Plagg continued to zip around and play around in the various supplies like ribbon and excess craft paper.

Ladybug quietly landed on the awning above Adrien’s sizable window. She took a deep breath while wrapping her yo-yo around one of the many guardrails that lined the perimeter of the mansion’s upper levels.

I’m just going to check in on him. Nothing more. Nothing less. I’m just going to check in on him.

Ladybug held onto the string tight as she hopped down the wall with her feet gently tapping against the glass. The blue glare of Adrien’s computer screen warped through the thick paned glass. Adrien’s figure was barely discernible, but she could see something else. A small, black shadow zipped around the room, creating fleeting holes in the computer’s light.

A breath hitched in Ladybug’s throat as figured what the little figure must’ve been. It had to be his kwami. Sure, she knew who Chat really was. She knew that, but actually seeing physical proof while knowing was a feeling that she was unprepared for.

Plagg’s ears perked up as a distinct tapping came into the room. Adrien zoned out in front of the monitors as the cat kwami, much to Ladybug’s surprise and dismay, went to investigate. Ladybug turned to all directions as she noticed the black shadow near. She jumped off the glass and swung, but it was too late.

Plagg pushed his face against the cool glass. His unearthly green eyes grew as Ladybug’s red suit became clear in the dim light. Plagg backed from the glass slowly with his head shaking side to side. He couldn’t figure any reason for Ladybug to be there. The heroine had nothing to do with Adrien, right? Plagg clamored behind the couch, but he knew that she saw him. Ladybug saw Plagg, and he knew it.

Plagg’s quick hiding drew Adrien out of his thoughts. “Plagg?” Adrien said while spinning his office chair around, “What are you getting in-“

Words vanished as Adrien’s eyes met Ladybug’s. Adrien’s heart skipped a beat as he slowly stood from his chair. Ladybug’s feet landed softly on the glass, eyes locked on Adrien, while her mind raced 

Adrien nearly ran to the window and unlatched the window. “L-Ladybug?” he said quietly. He rubbed his eyes as if to rid himself of any illusion, but Ladybug still stood there on the glass with a dumbfounded look.

She really hadn’t intended to be seen. She just wanted to check on him and make sure that the smiles weren’t just for school. That’s all she wanted, but there was Adrien in all his perfect glory. She raised one hand to give him a pathetic wave as she fought for through her nerves for any words. Ladybug closed her eyes for a moment. She had to calm down. She took a deep breath before locking eyes with Adrien again. Fuck, she really was smitten. “Oh, um, hi Adrien,” Ladybug said with one hand rubbing the back of her neck.

Adrien looked away as warmth creeped into his cheeks and ears. “Oh, yes. Hello,” he said, copying Ladybug with his hand wrapped behind his neck. Out of the corner of his eye, Adrien caught Plagg zip behind some of Adrien’s old fencing trophies. Right, he couldn’t let Ladybug see Plagg. Wait. He glanced at her figure in the emerging moonlight with that focused gaze of hers. “Umm, what are you doing here? Is there an akuma around?” He said, still not quite meeting her bright, blue eyes.

“Oh, you know, just in the area,” Ladybug said now looking at her hand clenched around the string. She took a moment to get a better look into the room. A suit and costume cape were laid across the couch and a white, craft paper mask was wrapped around a fencing trophy. So that was his plan. A small smile flashed over her lips. He was actually making something instead of wallowing. Ladybug couldn’t ask for anything better.

Adrien thought the whole situation was almost too good to be true. Ladybug just happened to be in the area? What were the chances? When would he ever get a chance like this ever again? “Um, do you want to come in? You can rest a bit.” 

It was Ladybug’s heart’s turn to skip as she processed the request. Adrien ‘Perfection’ Agreste was inviting her into his room. And not out of necessity this time. She bit her lip. Should she? She glanced over the door that led to the hallway. It was completely dark underneath. He seemed to be doing fine, but a little time would completely quell her worries, right? She nodded with a polite smile before swinging over the windowsill.

Adrien stepped out of the way as Ladybug hopped in and retracted her yo-yo. Ladybug’s tool of choice returned to her hip as she took a few steps into the massive room. She pretended to look at the mess for the first time. “Are you going to a party or something?” 

“Ahh, not quite,” Adrien said before scurrying around the room to tidy up. Of course he had the best luck when it came to his lady. “It’s for a school event.”

“Oh?” Ladybug said with a knowing look. “Like a play.”

Adrien turned as he put the craft supplies back into their designated bin. “No, no, no, nothing like that. It’s just a cafe. We’re doing costumes, y’know, like the ones you find in manga and anime?” Adrien’s cheeks reached a new level of pink as he realized what he just said. Had he just talked about an anime trope with Ladybug of all people? Not even Nino would sit through Adrien’s small (but rare) nerd-out sessions. Adrien put a hand behind his neck again as if he could brush away what he just said.

A small chuckle escaped Ladybug. He truly was a dork. A giant one at that. “Well that sounds fun to me.”

“Does it really?”

“Yes, i-it sounds quite lively.” 

Adrien’s lit up. “It really is. My entire class is excited,” he said while picking up the white mask, “We decided to do superheroes of all things. Isn’t that funny?”

“Superheroes?” Ladybug said, making sure to lay her ignorance act on thick.

“Yeah, that’s what we’re dressing up as.” 

“I see. Is that why there’s a mask on your desk?”

Adrien smile grew a bit. “You know it?”

“Who doesn’t?” Ladybug said with hands on hips.

“You have a point there.” 

“What made you decide on him?” 

Adrien glanced over to the computer screens covered in reference photos of the gentlemanly hero. He really picked the character out of convenience, but that didn’t seem like a good enough answer. He scratched his brain for anything sounding the least lame, but time was ticking so he just opened his mouth. “I guess I just liked his story. You know, he does what he can to help those around him without hindering them. He doesn’t have any flashy powers or anything, but he can still do so much.”

Adrien had a small glimmer in his eye as he described the masked hero. As he talked, Adrien couldn’t help but think that the hero sort of paralleled Chat. Sure, he had Cataclysm, but other than that, his main powers were physical rather than magical.

“Reminds me of someone,” Ladybug said, noticing the gleam in Adrien’s bright green eyes.

“Really?”

“Yeah, what you’re talking about reminds me of Chat.” Adrien’s heart skipped once again. He wondered if he would just drop dead from all the skipped beats. Ladybug’s cheeks reddened as Adrien’s smile only became more apparent. “I don’t know what I would ever do without him.”

Ladybug swore that Adrien’s eyes shone brighter than stars. He looked, well, elated. Ladybug went on to say the most compliments she could think of about her dorky partner. The fact that he was right next to her in his civilian self made that difficult though. But Ladybug was glad to do it. She was glad to push to through her embarrassment if it meant seeing that happy gleam flash over those sorrowful, green eyes. 

Hey look, it’s a 2k fic from Yachter Otter’s POV! :D

Why? Why not!

Sorry. Not sorry.

Five Times Yachter Otter Was Part of the Knope-Wyatt Family (and One Time He Wasn’t Yet)

February 2026

It’s dark.

Well, it’s been dark for awhile but even though he can’t see anymore, Yachter Otter can tell he’s somewhere else. And then he’s gently being lifted up and set down on a flat surface.

“Hi? Hello? Oh, there you are. Hi. Ben Wyatt. Um, I don’t know if you remember me but–”

“Oh! I do! You’re the one that used to buy all the stuffed animals. It’s been awhile.”

“Yeah,” he hears Ben answer with a laugh. Although sometimes he’s called babe or congressman or dad at home. Sometimes daddy, but it’s been a year or two since Yachter Otter has heard that version of the man’s name regularly.

“That’s me. So, I was wondering if–”

“Yes, I could definitely make you three bears dressed up as past presidents. Which ones?”

“No that’s okay…well, huh. Actually, that sounds kind of cute. Maybe Roosevelt, Kennedy, and…No, no. Never mind. That’s not why I’m here. I was wondering if–”

“Oh! What happened to this little guy?”

He’s being picked up and examined. Poked and prodded, but not roughly.

“Yeah. That’s why I’m here. Can you fix him? He’s kind of important to my wife. And well, to the kids. You know, I’m kind of fond of him too, I guess.”

Yachter Otter would roll his eyes if he could. But, he guesses he’s slightly fond of this one too.

“His monocle is gone.”

“Ah, yes, a camping trip a couple of years ago. Wes took him on our hike and when we got back to the tents, no monocle. We looked, but we couldn’t find it anywhere. Leslie told the kids it was okay, that he’d get a contact lens.”

“Hmmm. And it says…butt on the top of his captain’s hat? Why does it say butt on the top of his hat?”

“Oh, that. Yeah, it wasn’t me. That was um…see, we have triplets. And there was a period, back when they were learning to spell, that pretty much every surface of our house had the word butt scribbled on it. Unfortunately, this one is in permanent marker. And then, we all kind of thought it was funny, especially Stephen, who was probably the one who wrote it. But, yeah, he should probably get a new hat.”

“I can put a new one on him,” the woman says. “What happened to his arm? And his eyes?”

It’s a good thing Yachter Otter can’t feel pain, because his right flipper has been nearly severed for a few days now. And his eyes fell out awhile before that.

It’s funny, he remembers a time, way back when he first started living with them, when he wished he didn’t have eyes, but he’s found now that he misses seeing his family (plus thankfully, he hasn’t had a front row seat for noisy times in quite awhile).

Although, he’s pretty sure those times still happen with great frequency.

He hears Ben sigh, “The dog. In fact, I just found this little guy in the hallway last night. I think Bark Obama, that’s our dog, has been using him as a chew toy. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, we just moved back to Indiana full-time from DC.”

“I can fix him. Sew him back together. Get him a new hat and monocle. Oh, and a new medallion for his neck.”

“You remember that? The necklace?”

Yachter Otter hears a laugh. “It’s not like I’ve made that many playboy otters lost at sea in my career.”

“Fair point. Okay. That would be perfect. Thank you. Any chance you could have him done by Valentine’s Day at the end of the week? I kind of wanted to give him to my wife again this year, you know, all fixed up and like new. I gave Yachter Otter to her on Valentine’s Day, um, fourteen years ago, back when we were dating. Now we have three kids and she’s running for Governor.”

“And you’re regifting a stuffed animal as your Valentine’s Day present? To the possible future Governor of Indiana? The mother of your children?”

“No. I’m not regifting-regifting, I gave it to her already…oh. I see what you’re saying. I should probably do flowers or something else too, right?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Hmmm. Well, anyway, thanks for your help.” Yachter Otter gets a soft pat on the head. “See you soon, buddy.”

April 2020

His new location is in the bigger bedroom with all the small ones again–their names are Wesley, Sonia, and Stephen. He likes them all of course, but Wesley is his favorite. That’s whose bed he sleeps in and who cuddles him at night.

Li'l Sebastian is usually snuggled up with Stephen, and the girl, she has about twenty stuffed animals, including a very condescending ostrich named BoBo. Sonia also plays with a hard rectangle she calls Dr. Buttons.

He’s just sitting there one afternoon when Wesley comes into the room, crying. He plops down on his bed and hugs Yachter Otter, sobbing into his furry otter belly.

Yachter Otter wishes he could hug the little boy back.

“Wes? Hey, Wesley?”

He watches as Ben walks in and sits down on the bed next to his son. “What’s wrong?”

The small one sits up and sniffles. “Daddy.”

Soon Yachter Otter is set down on the bed and Ben is hugging Wesley. “It’s okay. Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I drew a picture and no one knows what it is.”

Ben looks confused. “Where? On the wall?”

“No, daddy, I know the rules. At school. Everyone always knows what Stephen draws. He’s better at drawing. I’m no good.”

They’re sitting close together now, Wes practically on his father’s lap. “You’re very good, even if your pictures aren’t as obvious as your brother’s. That doesn’t mean his are better, you just see things differently.”

“Because of my glasses?”

Ben smiles and wipes Wes’s tears away with his fingers. “Well, mostly because you’re a different person than Stephen, and you see the world differently. And you draw differently. And that’s okay, it’s how it should be.”

Wes sniffles again and uncrumples a balled up piece of paper. The one he’d tossed on the bed when he first came in. “Do you know what that is?”

Yachter Otter is glad that he’s not being asked this question because Yachter Otter has no clue what that is…a traffic cone? A wedge of cheese?

Ben studies the work of art carefully. “Um, well…I think that’s a carrot?”

Wesley’s face lights up. and he starts to smile “Yeah! And what’s that?” He points to a multicolored blob beneath the carrot.

“Oh, well…I’m sorry, honey. I’m not quite sure, but if you tell me what it is, I’m sure I’ll see it.”

“It’s Benjamin Franklin flying a carrot instead of a kite. And that’s Yachter Otter taking notes for the newspaper and talking with Uncle Andy.”

Ben smiles and peers closer. “Wow. Okay. There’s a lot going on there. Hey, is Andy playing a broccoli guitar?”

Wes nods excitedly.

“This is very creative and colorful. Why don’t we put this up in the kitchen so mommy can see it tonight? I’m sure she’ll love it as much as I do.”

November 2014

Everyone’s been gone for a couple of days.

Leslie had been getting larger and larger and thankfully, the noises (and sights) had gotten a little less frequent over the last few weeks. Although, the other night, Ben did that thing with his mouth that Yachter Otter has never quite been able to understand.

That had certainly made Leslie very noisy.

But now, they’re back home, with three small and crying bundles. and she’s moving a little slower than usual and Ben is doting on her and bringing her things–food, juice, adjusting her pillows, and handing the babies to her to nurse against her chest.

There are other people here too fussing over the whole scene.

Yachter Otter thinks he knows what’s going on here. They finally had a litter of pups.

A couple of days later, he gets moved to another bedroom, this one is light green and has three cribs, a rocking chair, and dancing animal paintings on the wall. He knows what this is too–it’s the den where the new pups are being kept.

He’s up high on a shelf next to Li'l Sebastian, above a table where the new ones are cleaned up. It’s kind of a smelly location, and he and the mini-horse spend a lot of time complaining to each other about the odors.

But still, he thinks he likes these new additions to the family.

October 2012

It’s quieter lately.

Ben is not around anymore, although he thinks it’s not a permanent thing  because he and Leslie still talk to each other on their laptops every night. But, he’s no longer sleeping next to her in the bed all the time–just occasionally when he visits on weekends.

Today Ann is over. Ann is a beautiful, lyrical sunbeam, at least that’s what Leslie calls her.

“I’m just not sure…” Leslie trails off, running her hands along Yachter Otter’s belly, where he sits in her lap. “He seems so happy, out there in DC being all smart and political. Of course, he’d want to go to Florida and work on another campaign. He did travel all the time before, he probably misses that lifestyle.”

“But you just found that great house. Maybe you could–”

Leslie shakes her head. “No. I think he wants to take this new job. And that’s great. I mean, I don’t like it at all and it’s awful but I totally and fully support Ben  and his dreams. Maybe after this campaign is over? But, for now, it doesn’t make sense to rent the house when it’s just me. I’ll just go over and look at it one more time. To say goodbye.”

“Do you want company?”

She shakes her head. “That’s okay, go see Jerry at the hospital. I can go by the rental myself. Besides, I’ll find a better house for us later. One with a trampoline room. Because I don’t think Martha knows what she’s talking about there–I’m sure some houses have trampoline rooms.”

March 2012

What are they doing?

He’s heard these noises before, but Leslie, that’s the blonde one’s name, usually turns him around so he’s facing the wall before they happen. But right now, he can see everything.

Apparently, hair color is not the only way to tell these two apart when they’re naked.

Is he…hurting her? No. No, Yachter Otter thinks, she seems to like it, whatever he’s doing.

“Oh no! Yachter Otter! I forgot to turn him so he couldn’t watch us.”

The one with the very prominent penis laughs (he’d be a big hit at yacht parties, Yachter Otter thinks). “Babe. He’s a stuffed animal.”

“Yeah, but–”

“Besides, if he’s going to live here, he might as well get used to this.”

He watches as they smile and laugh and roll around some more on the bed until the woman is on top, bouncing and moaning, and at least they look happy?

Of course, Yachter Otter wishes he could close his eyes and give them some privacy to mate–he finally figured out that’s what they were doing–but unfortunately, his eyes are permanently open. That was convenient for navigating the waters but now, in his new noisy home, it might be a small problem.

February 2012

He’s used to yacht parties and super models. Dry martinis and caviar. And then one day when he was out at sea, just thinking and planning his next adventure,  he got lost in the high waves. Thankfully, he still has his monocle, even though that was mostly for show. He can see perfectly fine without it.

Then he was in a car…a Saturn? Which, being a playboy otter, seemed far beneath him somehow.

His next location is an office, behind a desk as he watches someone lead another someone closer, but the taller one has his paws over the shorter one’s eyes, so they’re walking slowly and laughing.

Apparently, the one had a dream about him–a playboy otter lost at sea. But how did he get here?

And why are they smashing their faces together now?

anonymous asked:

How do you side profile? It's not fun-

well i mean i have a specific way of doin profiles, like… im sure everybody has their own way but this is how i go about it lol

i just start off with this basic shape here

I kinda roughly eyeball the porportions 

and then i just kinda plug in shit from there. learning little tips and handy notes along the way like ‘eyes level with ears and bridge of nose, keep your forehead and chin about level, eye is in the triangle cheese wedge shape’ etc etc.

but what i fully absolutely recommend is just studying different profiles because thats honestly the best way to go about it

because once you get the hang of how things work, you can start pushing and exaggerating and experimenting with stuff

but like i said, this is just how I do things lol